A great example of sunshine versus reality - the testimonies of the USPS and their IG

greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

What the PO says... "[The Year 2000] is a challenge that has engaged the men and women of the Postal Service for a number of years."

What the IG says... "In 1995, the Postal Service established a two-person Y2K program office. In 1997, the Postal Service expanded the program office to 12 people. In January 1998, the Y2K program was expanded to include non-information systems areas."

What the PO says... "Our planning for the Year 2000 problem has been extremely thorough."

What the IG says... "In the remaining ten months, the Postal officials must document the Postal Services core business processes, determine system component dependencies, assess the risk of failure for each component, develop business contingency plans, establish recovery teams, and test these plans."

What the PO says... "We began our efforts with inventory of all components and systems."

What the IG says... "As of January 1999, the Postal Service did not know the Y2K status of critical equipment in facilities nationwide. A survey of equipment is to be completed by June 1999."

What the PO says... "The next step was assessment..."

What the IG says... "As of January 1999, the Postal Service has assessed about 4,300 out of approximately 5,700 internal and external data exchanges."

What the PO says... "Then we began remediation on our mission critical systems. If we found a problem, we fixed it. We are looking at 100 million of computer code. With remediation efforts on schedule..."

What the IG says... "To date, the Postal Service estimates it has spent about $200 million. In its most recent report, the Postal Service estimates it will spend a total of $607 million. As of January 1999, 127 of 152 mission critical systems were reviewed, corrected, and tested. The Postal Services initial target date was September 1998. The current completion date is projected for June 1999, nine months after the original projection. 41 of the 127 corrected systems have been independently verified as Y2K compliant. Sufficient progress has not been made."

What the PO says... "We rely on commercial air and surface transportation to move mail locally and across the country. Some of the key elements that are necessary to support a national postal system are not within our direct control. We are exploring "What If" scenarios that anticipate specific disruptions - internal or external - that might arise."

What the IG says... "In January 1999, the Postal Service had identified 661 critical suppliers. Of these, 312 did not respond to inquiries. Of the 349 that replied, 254 are at high risk of not being ready. The Postal Service has not developed contingency plans if these suppliers are not ready for the Year 2000."

What the PO says... "Our mail system is no stranger to operating successfully through national and regional disruptions. We delivered two years ago when a strike all but shut down United Parcel Service; just as we delivered through two recent airline strikes. Since the first days of a national postal system, we found ways to deliver through war, floods, earthquakes, and other natural disasters. The fact is, the Postal Service is part of the Year 2000 contingency plans of many organizations that rely on electronic communications, whether benefit payments by federal agencies, electronic payments in the private sector, or simple data transmission from person to person. The buck stops here!"

I say... The Postal Service spokesperson lists a series of external problems. These problems were sufficiently handled when the Postal Service did not suffer internal disruption. How would the Postal Service have performed if UPS werent operational while the Postal Service suffered system malfunctions or supplier breakdowns?

-- Brett (savvydad@aol.com), March 01, 1999


'Want to know a real life example of Y2K affecting postal deliveries? Try the Detroit Post office! It had (may still be having) big problems in January. Confirmed by nearby local post office employee, who didn't want to say anthing more than that. My question to her was, "Would I be wrong to assume that Y2k had something to do with the foul-ups?" Her answer was simply "No."

Expecting future failures (of anything that fails) to be blamed on something else.

-- VLS (inbusiness@theoffice.net), March 01, 1999.

And when 50 million people a week want certified mail receipts because they want to be able to prove checks were mailed in Jan and Feb next year.......?

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw, GA) (cook.R@csaatl.com), March 01, 1999.

Brett, very good post!

In the light of the recent grade report for government agencies, which almost all of them jumped from D's and C's to A's in a short time, would it be considered foolishly extreme of me to assume that they are spinning their self-reported status the same way as the PO? We haven't seen any independent audits for any of them, have we?

-- Chris (catsy@pond.com), March 01, 1999.

Brett, Har-de-har-har, eh? Thanks for your post. I love the end, especially, we are "part of the Year 2000 contingency plans of many organizations ...". Not much longer.

Might be useful to post the link to the USPS audit thread again:

Link to USPS Going Down Thread

-- BigDog (BigDog@duffer.com), March 01, 1999.


Do you have the URLs for the sources for your quotes? That is great stuff.

-- Drew Parkhill/CBN News (y2k@cbn.org), March 01, 1999.

The buck stops here because the machine used to move the buck to intended destination doesn't seem to work.

-- Lewis (aslanshow@yahoo.com), March 01, 1999.

"Some of the key elements that are necessary to support a national postal system are not within our direct control."

Here's a phrase popping up with increasing frequency.

Let's play a game and replace 'postal system' with let's say...banking system...food supply....welfare...etc.

I never said it was a fun game.

Although when they play it, it's called 'pass the buck', when we play it, it's called 'get out the hip boots'

-- Deborah (info@wars.com), March 01, 1999.

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